What the–

We have no idea what this cover which we found on an LJ is for, but it seems appropriate for a Friday afternoon.

HALO GN selling like hotcakes

The HALO graphic novel, based on the best-selling videogame, has proven to be a rare hit for the videogame-to-comics genre. The book has debuted at #2 on BOTH the Bookscan and Diamond charts, and the buzz around the watercooler is that there are 80-100K copies in print.

Based on the best-selling videogame, the Halo Graphic Novel reached #2 on the BookScan list of graphic novels sold in bookstores, the highest position of a non-manga, non-movie tie-in graphic novel in years. It also debuted at an impressive #33 on Amazon.com.

In fact, the Halo Graphic Novel has sold so incredibly that a second print will be available within weeks.

The reviews have been pouring in from numerous media outlets praising the video-game’s expansion into the world of graphic fiction.

Andrew Smith of Scripps News Service says, “It’s an excellent graphic novel for comics fans…it’s also undoubtedly a must-buy for anyone who loves the game because it fills in so many blanks.â€?

Hilary Goldstein of IGN.com says, “Considering the large audience who has played these games, this is a book that belongs in a few million homes. Master Chief’s first journey into comics is a brilliant success.â€?

Wayne Oliveri of UGO.com says, “Marvel knows how to make comics, and this hardcover has the highest production values. It’s a colorful, well-designed book.â€?

Wook Kim of Entertainment Weekly says, “All in all, this is an impressive effort, given a handsome and solemn presentation.â€?

MILLAR live!

Mark Millar will be the live guest on Fanboy Radio this Sunday. Gee I wonder what he will talk about!

“This is Mark’s third appearance on the program and it couldn’t come at a better timeâ€? Scott Hinze, host of the show says. “Civil War is good medicine for the comic industry but it’s also generating a lot of heated opinions. I will do everything in my (very limited) power to present the radio and podcast audience a good time with the hottest writer in comics today while trying to cover all sides of the different conflicts.â€? Show host, Oliver Tull adds, “What a great chance to talk with one of my favorite writers, catch up on his work and practice my Scottish accent!“

Tune in for Fanboy Radio #326 this Sunday for Fanboy Radio with Mark Millar at 6pm Central (7pm Eastern, 5pm Pacific) and give the show a call at (817) 257-7631 – and everyone who makes it on the air will receive a Free FUNimation DVD!

Fanboy Radio broadcasts from http://www.fanboyradio.com and podcasts from http://www.fbrpc.com

Hernandez on SLOTH

200608181248Panels and Pixels has a great interview with the great Gilbert Hernandez on SLOTH his new graphic novel, and many secrets are revealed:

Q: Because of that switch a lot of the reviews I’m reading compare it “Mulholland Drive” and I keep seeing David Lynch’s name brought into the review. Is that a comparison you like or does it annoy you at all?

A: No, I totally cop to that. Even as I was doing it I go, “This is a very Lynchian twist.” To myself you know. Because I understand the powers that be over at DC really hate David Lynch. So I kept that to myself.

But I was thinking of that. Then I was thinking “What if there was a Mulholland Drive that readers could understand?” I enjoyed “Mulholland Drive” but I understand the problems with people not liking it just because it’s so obscured by clouds. I enjoyed it but, you know, throw us a bone here once in awhile.

For the record, we LOVED MULHOLLAND DRIVE.


200608181243The movie version of Mark Millar and JG Jones’ WANTED hasn’t been much heard of since the Eminem kerfluffle, but it is moving forward and James McAvoy, who played kiddie-fiddler Mr. Tumnus in THE LION THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE has been cast as the lead! Timur Bekmambetov directs from a script by 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS’s Derek Haas and Michael Brandt The film is expected to be an R, and is but one of a number of modestly priced nerd-friendly films coming from Universal:

The movie is a priority for the studio and is expected to go into production in first-quarter 2007 with a budget of less than $100 million. “Wanted” likely will be the first production under the studio’s new plan of making cutting-edge action movies that are reasonably priced yet have international appeal.

“With the convergence of new visions and new technologies, the genre is changing,” Universal president of production Donna Langley said. “We want to capitalize on it with filmmakers who have an affinity for working in these kinds of worlds. The model is reasonably priced action movies, movies that deliver, but look like they cost twice as much.”

The studio has quietly lined up some of the filmmakers it considers suited for such an approach. Last week, Universal hired award-winning commercial director Neill Blomkamp to helm “Halo” and this month added Guillermo del Toro and his “Hellboy 2″ to its slate. It also has writer-director Edgar Wright (“Shaun of the Dead”) attached to “Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life,” which it hopes to make next year.

200608181246Meanwhile, ICv2 reminds us—and probably many others—about a comic book movie coming out later this year that had completely slipped our notice, Reny Harlin’s The Covenant, based on the Top Cow book by Aron Colette and Tone Rodriguez.

The Covenant, which is a dark fantasy saga involving five teenage warlocks whose bonds of friendship are sorely tested as they are about to come into full possession of their powers as they turn 18, is just the sort of film project that could become a “sleeper” hit in the theaters this fall when it debuts on September 8th, or, if it fails to get wide theatrical distribution (like A Scanner Darkly), it might find its audience on DVD. Either way it’s a project that retailers may well want to watch closely.

Speaking only for ourselves, we have been seeing trailers and ads for this movie incessantly on the kind of boy themed shows we watch, and had NO IDEA it was a comic book movie. Anyway, DEFINITELY something to keep an eye on.

Woo questions superheroes

Moving away from lyrical, blood soaked sagas of loyalty and honor, director John Woo is moving into comics a little teeny bit, with his creation of SEVEN BROTHERS to be written by Garth Ennis and published by Virgin Comics. But it seems the helmer has been pondering the nature of our heroes, as a recent query on Yahoo! answers shows

Our fascination with comic superheroes is time-tested. Why do we continue to relate to them?

Woo existential question received 2506 answers, but the one he chose
covered many aspects of our fascination with the long underwear set:

I think it is partly because we are looking for beings that are good and more powerful than we are to protect us from the big bad guys whom we can’t fight on our own. Human beings have always liked myths and pantheons of gods and tales of heros. Think of the stories of the Arabian Nights, and the tales of miracles and prophets and things.

Of course, Woo may not have been actually pondering his next project, but merely wondering why so many people get upset when Civil War #4 doesn’t ship on time.

Ellis triumphs

200608181226-2Just to back up what we were trying to tell you the other day, a lot of high profile comics may not have shipped on Wednesday, but there were still a few things to read and buy as Warren Ellis pointed out in one of his Bad Signal mailings:

In the early hours of the morning, Gillen confirmed something that’d occurred to me previously in the day.

Vagiaries of shipping and ordering aside, it’s conceivable that you could walk into a comics store today and for ten American dollars walk out with FELL 6 by me, CASANOVA 3 by Fraction, WASTELAND 2 by Antony Johnston and PHONOGRAM 1 by Gillen.

All a certain kind of comic: intelligent pop, if you like. And all four of us shooting the shit about this kind of comic on the old Warren Ellis Forum a few years ago.

It’s kind of interesting to me, and pleasing, that we were all published on the same day this month.

Gillen had an email from someone, saying that it’s like the WEF won after all. Not a bad thought to end the week on



200608181222We don’t normally run a lot of sell-out PR, but this one is notable in that it’s a book from Image. 16,000 isn’t a civil war type number, but it’s quite healthy for a book in the Indie range and it’s nice to see a quality project like this find an audience.

Active Images announces that its new baby, ELEPHANTMEN, has done just what Doctor Nikken, the mastermind behind the Unhumans’ creation, hoped: they’ve been released en masse on an unsuspecting human public. Issue #1 of ELEPHANTMEN from Image Comics has officially sold out of its 16,000-copy first printing. Retailers and fans can rest easy; a second printing is on its way. ELEPHANTMEN was deemed Best of the Week of its release by Fourth Rail.

Launched at Comic-Con International: San Diego at the end of July, it has taken less than a month to burn through all 16,000 copies printed. A combination of factors contributed to this success: astoundingly positive reviews in both comic and mainstream publications, Ladrönn’s Eisner win for Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (HIP FLASK: MYSTERY CITY), a regular, monthly schedule for a world that fans continue to fall in love with, and most important, word of mouth from lively and loyal fans.

HIP FLASK and ELEPHANTMEN creator, Richard Starkings, was asked for a comment but was found to have been knocked down with a feather.

Robertson Podcast Part 2 is up

Second part of Darick Robertson podcast is up at Pensacola Journal. In it he discusses THE BOYS and his views on the modern comics industry.

Maine Mystery Beast update

As you may have heard, a terrifying mystery beast was recently found slain in a deserted copse off a lonely road up in rustic Maine. Not far from Stephen King’s house in fact! We like the way practical Mainers handle finding a terrifying mystery beast: they were smart enough to take pictures of the body while it was still relatively intact, but perhaps intimidated by the powerful stench of evil and danger surrounding its corpse, they left it where it lay after having bit hit by a car, so by the time authorities found the body it had been PICKED CLEAN — by VULTURES! Sweet!

Famed Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman paid a visit to the remains of the corpse and recounts how locals had differing theories over where the hellspawn had come from:

One person offered that the animal may have mutated after roaming near a toxic waste dump. At least one person suggested the creature may be extraterrestrial in origin. Others insist that there is an unknown breed of animal roaming the Maine woods from the southern part of the state to the northern woods.

Coleman’s analysis was that despite some anomalies it was probably a Chow or Akita gone wild, a mundane explanation that much of the world is now accepting.

But not all of them. The mystery beast is likely to live on in the imagination experts say:

“Having scientific evidence is not going to kill this story. It’s like an unslayable monster that will keep coming back,” said Elizabeth Eames, chair of the anthropology department at Bates College in Lewiston. “Humans like to categorize things. They like to fit them into neat, little boxes. Those things that don’t fit become sacred. They become sacred and profane.”

Sacred and profane. Despite the probable terrestrial origins of the beast — as one of our pals put it “It was probably named Toby.” — we prefer to believe that not everything can be known. And having lived in the Maine woods for a while ourselves, we know there are lots of things out there that remain wild and mysterious down by that old deserted graveyard.